Life is filled with work, traffic, bills, dieting, and day-to-day minutiae.
During the holidays, it gets even more stressful. The secret to de-stressing? During this hustle-bustle season, make time for yourself. After all, you deserve a treat now and then, don’t you? Sure you do. So, treat yourself. Go ahead. It’s ok. Eat the twelve-layer chocolate cake. Get a massage. Buy a gold watch.
Or, perhaps the answer is as simple as sipping one of these sinfully rich beers.
Boulevard Imperial Stout X – Aztec Chocolate
This inviting beer is a blend of two imperial stouts. The first batch is comprised of a healthy dose of cinnamon and xocolatl, a traditional drinking chocolate that enjoyed religious and ceremonial significance within Aztec culture. The second batch of imperial stout is infused with dried pasilla negro, ancho chiles, and cacao nibs. Following the infusion, brewers move the batch to a blending tank and combine it with the cinnamon-spiced, Aztec chocolate stout. This beer is the perfect accompaniment to relaxing by the fire on a cold winter’s night.
ABV: 11% | Avg. Price: $13 (750 ml)
DeuS Brut des Flandres
DeuS exists as a glorious congruence of sparkling wine and beer. The genesis of Deus begins in Belgium, where a master brewer ferments the beer. Once completed, DeuS travels to France’s Champagne region where it undergoes a second fermentation and nine-month aging process similar to the famous French bubbly. Although it resembles sparkling wine, the delicate fruity sweetness and floral aromas are balanced well by the pleasant undertone of malt common to beer. It’s complex in flavor, but simply delicious.
ABV: 11.5% | Avg. Price: $35 (25 oz.)
Deschutes Dissident 2015 Reserve
Dissident is Deschutes’ first wild yeast beer. The infusion of local cherries along with the yeast creates Dissident’s characteristic sour taste. The brewers ferment it for 18 months, partly in pinot and cabernet barrels. Because of the use of wild yeast, brewers isolate Dissent under lock and key to avoid any cross-contamination. The impartation of wine is exceptionally noticeable in both the aroma and taste. Overall, it is perfectly sweet and tart – a truly unique and flavorful beer.
ABV: 11.1% | Avg Price: $18/22 oz.
Founders Kentucky Breakfast Stout (KBS)
Who says you can’t have beer and bourbon for breakfast? Founders uses an entire harvest’s worth of coffee and chocolate in the brewing process. Afterwards, KBS is sent to caves where it is aged in oak-bourbon barrels for one year. The aging allows the bourbon and oak to infiltrate the beer, and then your taste buds. Vanilla and chocolate, as well as sweet and roasted malt, provide astounding balance to the prominent oak and bourbon flavor. Founders releases KBS each spring, but its availability is limited; some bottle stores require patrons to purchase beer several months prior to its release.
ABV: 11.2% | Avg. Price $20 (12 oz. 4-pack)
Sam Adams’ Utopias
At 28% ABV and $150-$200 a bottle, Sam’s delicious special release is not a beer you chug, it is meant to be sipped and savored…an ounce or two at a time. It closely resembles cognac, sherry, or port, but it is certainly a beer. Released every two years, the 2015 Utopias is blended with vintage Utopias of the past, including some that have been barrel-aged for more than 20 years. Utopias offers terrific aroma and a tasty mix of flavors such as vanilla, caramel, raisin, date, cherry, oak, maple, and subtle notes of citrus and hoppy earthiness. Outstanding!
ABV: 28% | Avg. Price: $175 (24 oz)
Thomas Creek Brewery Banana Split Chocolate Stout
Indulgence arrives in a variety of forms. This brew has a wonderful bittersweet chocolate taste balanced by both the banana flavor and terrific banana aroma. But, as unique and flavorful as this beer might be – and it is – the true indulgence comes from what you can do with it. For instance, you might want to create a Banana Split Chocolate Stout Float. The flavors of the beer marry well with any ice cream dessert. Add some cherries, and maybe caramel and fudge. It’s ok…treat yourself!
ABV: 7.5% | Avg. Price: $10 (12 oz. 4-pack)